Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville

celebrating 25 years of building dreams EST. 1991

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The New Paradigm

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville's New Paradigm is a powerful response to great need and great opportunity. The Charlottesville area has an affordable housing crisis. Like many urban areas, we lack sufficient affordable housing for many low wage workers in our community.

To combat this crisis - to deal with escalating land costs in the area, to build more sustainably, and to prevent trailer park residents from summary displacement - Habitat has changed the original model we pursued for more than 20 years. We have adopted our New Paradigm for Affordable Housing. 

  • Now, instead of building one house on one lot for one family, we are building homes in neighborhoods and creating mixed-income communities, using an entrepreneurial model of development.
  • We are using green building and infrastructure to make our neighborhoods sustainable. 
  • We are building near public transportation lines. 
  • We are building in new typologies - duplexes, rowhouses, and multi-story condominium buildings - to make the best use of available land.
  • We are transforming trailer parks from pockets of poverty to mixed-income, mixed use communities without resident displacement.

These measures save costs for our Partner Families, and create vibrant, attractive neighborhoods.

The New Paradigm in action:

The Paton/Nunley Street Development in Fifeville, in the shadow of the University of Virginia, is the first mixed-income Habitat neighborhood in Virginia. Completed in January 2011, it includes 22 Habitat Partner Family homes, two workforce housing homes, and ten market-rate homes in a front-porch neighborhood of mature trees, common areas and quality architecture.

Sunrise, in the Belmont Carlton section of Charlottesville, was completed in 2013 and is the first trailer park transformation in the country without resident displacement.  Sunrise provides a 66-unit mix of replacement apartments for current trailer park residents, condos and duplexes for Habitat Partner Families, and market rate homes as well as commercial space and a variety of community amenities.

Southwood, a mobile home park redevelopment in the Albemarle County growth area, will be the third stage in the New Paradigm.  Southwood provides a 100-acre opportunity for Habitat and community partners to create hundreds of new units for current and future Southwood residents. In the process, it will make a serious dent in the local affordable housing crisis that affects us all.

The nation is watching. By redeveloping Sunrise and Southwood responsibly and successfully, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville will demonstrate that affordable housing can be at the heart of great urban redevelopment.

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